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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    February 6, 2013
    1:00 - 6:00am EST  

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for the under-employed u.s. workforce who could be attractive if they were attractive but i do not know what the conditions are in the forms and carries that you are describing so i cannot comment on that. >> you think it is >> do you think it is a financial issue? these are not necessarily the most skilled, but different skilled. >> i do pick strawberries in the summer in oregon. >> i think we went to the same school. >> did we? i did not know that. >> it was interesting, difficult, and well paid job for a college student during the summer. i do not think there are any jobs like that anymore. it is a different workforce that is the strawberry taking in oregon now. -- picking in oregon now. there has been a shift. did we really go to the same college?
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>> we did. in portland. i think i used all of my time. >> i thank the gentle lady. >> it is good to have mayor castro here from san antonio. san antonio is like my own hometown, corpus christi. you have a pretty good basketball team. i wanted to visit with you a little bit. i really do sympathize. we have a big problem. i think we all agree that our immigration system is broken. we have a lot of cases at our office. my heart is broken by some of the family issues that i see. also my heart is broken by the fact that many of these people who are in this country without copper documentation are basically an underclass and are
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not afforded the full protection of the law. andou're here illegally you see a crime on the street, you are afraid to call the police for fear of you getting involved in it. you're open to exportation by unscrupulous employers. it is a real problem. it needs to be addressed. i have spoken with a lot of republican colleagues. some of them democratic colleagues. and a lot of folks back home on the issue. it seems like the stumbling block for everyone is the pathway to citizenship you have been talking about for a long time. the promises of the 1986 immigration reform when it granted citizenship to so many people we were going to seal the border and make sure that this was a one-time deal. we see that has failed. my question to you is how do we not end up in the same situation 10, 20 years down the
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road if we do this again? my fear is that what we are saying by a pathway to citizenship is that all right, you have come over here illegally, let seal the borders with hundred percent so no one can cross it illegally. you will still have people overstating their turn risk these as -- tourist visas and student visas. they done it twice. will wait them out. it creates this underclass of people who cannot have a real job. selling bootleg dvds in the fleamarket or working in whatever underground economy. how do you craft this so we do not fall into the same trap? >> thank you for that question. it is good to see a fellow texan from south texas. first, i believe as a nation we
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are stronger because we ask folks to take an oath, and allegiance to the united states of america. >> no question about it. >> that requires full participant nation in the democracy of citizenship. i cannot imagine an america where we can sign -- consign these folks to an underclass status. >> what we put into law to not invite people to do the same thing again? that is my concern. >> first of all, the only way you will accomplish that is with a comprehensive approach. you do not want to find yourself. 10 are 20 years now. the legislation should include enhanced border security. enhanced interior security. >> would you support the idea -- the lin >> i would support technology
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that ensures that people who are here are here legally. whether it is that or something like that, there are more people more qualified to speak on that. i would say including an ability for employers to verify the legal status that is better and more comprehensive. >> we tried to do that and failed, but you will still have the underground employers if you have people who are overstating their student visas. my concern -- you have answered this in different variations time and time again. this is a very generous pathway to citizenship. maybe may be we tight unit and find a compromise, and how to avoid creating an incentive for people to keep coming here? that is what my constituents --
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and that a big stumbling point. >> you solve the issue that you have in front of you that you improve the ability to see the folks who should not be here and ensure that people do not overstay their visas. >> i say i'm out of time, but i do not see how you do it. how do you track them? >> throwing our hands up is not an option. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. garcia for five minutes. >> thank you. mayor castro, what type of computer -- did your grandparents engage in? >> my grandmother ended up working as a maid, cook, and babysitter. >>. go. high skilled. -- there you go.
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high skilled. i wonder if they were canadians because -- is not like texas wher or miami were people just t to be there. i heard your testimony. i worry about it. you say that our country is a mess and i hope you're just talking about our immigration. what brings people to our country is opportunity. >> for the moment, we are only -- >> you agree that suffering is for the immigrants who do not have documentation -- families separating and being deported. why should we decide and not decide on those who have been investing and in your long time? >> the issue of the undocumented is toxic. america is divided.
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>> it is toxic because we have given up. if you're given the choice to pick strawberries in florida, would you have taken that choice? >> i might have under my circumstances. >> under your circumstances, the answer is no, right? >> the green card is a wonderful way of being here. if the only difference between the green and the citizenship is a right to vote. the republicans know we will lose the battle if we just legalize 11,000 people. [talking over each other] >> people would choose that. the other question i asked, do you think there is some kind of paradise, the folks who have been here for 10 or 15 years
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aching strawberries are potatoes or corn or apricot? do you think that is a particular good circumstance for the last 10 or 15 years? how about you? is that a good thing? are they happy to do this? do they want to be in this permanent underclass? >> i do not think so. >> is there any history of any country that did not have immigration heading toward its borders? >> say that again. >> is there a history of any country that was successful in not having immigration? from the battery in nash babylonian empire, every nation has immigration. >> the commission was a strong supporter of the substantial legal immigration system. >> do remember what the cover of your report says? >> the statue does not say you.
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it is the palm. >> i think we make a mistake when we engage in this debate and encourages some paradise. you spent how many years trying to make your status permanent. >> more than 15. >> you would agree that is not a particularly terrible place to be. even those like yourself making a good salary, but finding the impediments, that is not a good thing. >> no, it does not. >> i would assume that you'd want the status for all others who are in a similar situation. >> yes. >> i think the issue here is that the folks on the other sanide -- this is no paradise. these people work hard on the american dream. they want an opportunity. a pathway to citizenship does not mean that we will find these guys up for citizen.
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that is a choice that is made. i'm sure you would love for people to be registered to vote, mayor. that is a choice that people make on the dislike citizenship, correct? >> sure, it is correct. >> i yield back the remainder of my time. >> the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. castro, i recognize your resistance to finding a middle ground, something short of citizenship. i ask you, if you are an illegal immigrant in the united states was in the business of enforcing our immigration laws and your choice was convicted criminal or almost citizen, you would choose almost citizen, would you not? >> as i said before, do i believe that something is better than zero? sure. i also do not believe that
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addresses the entirety of the problem here. >> redirecting your attention back to a previous question, which was considered hypothetical, if you were given the opportunity to write the law and ensure that it passed and we found ourselves caten newsletter with a large appellation of illegal immigrants in the country, would you enforce the law or would you come back and find another pathway to citizenship? i would suggest that it is not a hypothetical question. it is precisely the question that we are dealing with right now. 25 years ago, we passed a comprehensive bill and here we have a low estimate of 11 million illegals in the country. some estimate millions more. what is the mistake that we made in 1986 that we do not need
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to make this time around to ensure that we do not have to do this again? >> i think one of the things we can do was mentioned earlier and that is to continue enhance border security and to work on interior security. technology has benefited us during that time. we have an opportunity. you have an opportunity. congress has an opportunity to pass a comprehensive, well thought out bill. no one can guarantee. it you are right. some folks will probably fall into that in the years to come. >> so the mistakes we made is that we do not enforce the law? >> well, i think someone else will have to speak to that. we cannot throw up our hands because we think there'll be challenges later. that is not an option. doing nothing is not an option. >> i agree doing nothing is not
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an option, but enforcing the law needs to be a part of the future. my father-in-law is british. he is an engineer. he has managed worldwide construction for two pharmaceutical countries -- one based in the united kingdom and one based in switzerland. through all the years i have known him, he has complained the most about immigration laws of the united states and the difficulty it has been not only for him to work in the united states, but for getting team members in from other countries to work on large construction projects and pharmaceutical research facilities here. you have experience in australia. it is a snapshot. it if one was a u.s. citizen engineer and wanted to go to australia and manage a billion- dollar construction project, how much of a hassle would it be? >> it makes it very easy to come
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there. canada is the same. they are welcoming immigrants to come there. it is hard to get green cards and many other countries. i still you -- australia, they welcome anyone who graduates from the university. your father in law is else in silicon valley. the companies are starved for talent. they want to hire the best from all over the world. what we do not let them. -- but we do not let them. if we were playing football as a country, we said the only people you can hire our people from within the company. we are basically locking out the world's best talent here . >> there are numerous high-tech companies there and a large number of software companies.
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i have heard from them that when they have difficulty adding some and into the united states, often what they do is have them located in canada and skype in their input. i pay the taxes in canada and not in the u.s. >> in silicon valley, that is commonly happening. everywhere else but silicon valley. we want people here so they will pay taxes here and interact and start more companies after they finish projects. >> thank you. >> the gentleman from new york is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. you have indicated throughout your testimony the need for policy or practical reasons to emphasize as we tackle this immigration issue of highly skilled visas. you have founded a company of
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1000 plus employees. you have written a book. you work at one our most distant wish universities. you have -- one of our most distant wish to universities have contributed much to america. we have a history of dealing with refugees with a passion that makes sense for who we are and what we represent in our democratic values. with the history of making sure that we grant visas in recognition of the fact that we need to draw from people all across the world. that is the premise of the diversity. tha that makes a stronger. the need to emphasize and promote family unification for reasons of fairness, efficiency, and reasons that clearly make sense to the integrity of our
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democracy and the well-being of our economy. the dental later from california -- the gentle lady from california has made a point to some of the most significant startup companies, the silicon valley success stories were from yahoo, google , intel, they did not come to this country through the highly skilled immigrant visa program, but through other means of immigration. there is an interview on november 20, 2012 at the wharton school of business. their distinguished school in pennsylvania. you stated, "i was in new york in the 1960s as a child. being in america is quite an experience. i left in the late 60s, but i always wanted to come back. the first chance i got was in 1980 when my father got transferred to the consulate in new york city." would you agree based on your
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own experiences in america that the notion of family unification, of the unit being together, has been and should continue to be an integral art of what we do when it comes to comprehensive immigration law. >> there is no dispute on that. the only thing i argue about is that -- we want to bring in additional skilled workers and grow the economy. > >> your own experience the measures importance of family importance. >> you are right. the children are immigrants -- that is correct. we need balance. >> how we find common ground in terms of the immigration reform? on one hand, you have mass
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deportation that was presented as an alternative. on another, a pathway to citizenship, but mayor castro, you indicated that seems to be a false dichotomy. the most of her. construct is on one hand, nasty partition, and the other is open, unsecured borders. -- deportation, and the other is open, unsecured borders. neither are appropriate. and that is appropriate construct, mass. deportation on one hand, and the other open, unsecured borders, how do we find common ground? based on those two wide ranging extreme alternatives? would you not agree in that scenario, that a pathway to citizenship is one alternative, compromise, but possible, and
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ultimately attainable, firm but humane, and that the only other possible compromise that was raised by others is permanent second-class status notwithstanding the fact that those permanent second-class residents would have passed the background check, pay back taxes, pay the fine, or gotten an education, served in the military i got into the back of a very long line -- could you comment, mayor castro, on those possible compromise alternatives and what seems to be most consistent with who we are? >> i believe you laid it out well in the extremes you have. mass deeper tissue up 11 million million people, that will not happen. we will not open up the borders. the bipartisan proposal and the
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president's proposal represents an effective compromise. this is our earned citizenship. the alternative is a recipe for creating a class of second class, noncitizens of the united states. >> thank you. >> last but not least, the gentleman from georgia is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. one of the good things about being last is that you get to listen and hear a lot of questions and your a lot of hyperbole -- hear a lot of hyperbole. i have heard a lot of discussion and a lot of well what if we don't do this it will be horrific. i come from northeast georgia. mary agricultural district. it is on the border of atlanta. it is an mixed blessing of the
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need for immigration and workers and the need for industries, but we also deal with the heart paying tax makers -- heart paying tax payers who are concerned about being fair, open, and honest. they have a deep faith. if the only way you can show your true face is by opening up your arms and forgiving and not having any rules, i believe you can hold both. i'm a lawyer as well. i hold both grace and law. we need to look at that. the question that comes to mind -- for some of this room, we have dealt with it in a way that is still in progress. what can we do as the state because the federal government has not? what concerns me is that --
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comprehensive immigration reform. i will start with you, may year. when i hear comprehensive in this hearing today i hear comprehensive is that it has a specific outcome. it is not company has and it does not lead to a specific end. i heard in recent testimony and questions that compromise between two untenable paths is not compromise. compromise between two things that would never take lace is not compromise. you're taking two extremes and basically saying there is a compromise in the middle and the reality is that you are not compromising. those things would never exist. it is a fantasy. you also said he felt it was in the nation's that citizenship right path to citizenship. is that correct? >> true. >> the believe that all immigrants come across the border legally or h really
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believe for the same reasons? yes or no? >> i cannot say every single one of them comes for the same reason. >> so is there at least room for discussion -- look, even in the diversity of my district which is very conservative, there is a need to deal with all aspects of this from the security aspect to the legal aspect, but also from the ones who are already here. if we only insist on comprehensive and we sort of demonized the process -- if the only way is to have a citizenship ending, are we not doing a disservice to those who come to work and have a deep love for the country they came for, and they came for economic reasons? they lived here for 30 years on a green card. my concern is that compromise in your mind only is compensable
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with only a desired outcome at the and. -- end. >> i think the only effective way to address this is to make it is to great pathway to citizenship. you're talking about eight to 10 years -- >> that is not my question. i'm dealing with the definition. if we only do comprehensive reform under the guise of an outstanding outcome or intended outcome, and i have trouble with that. what we are setting ourselves up for is that if one side is coming to the table with open and honest ideas for reform, but is in the end -- >> i disagree. >> you state that it is in that nation's best interest that there is only one path and that should be citizenship when it really there are other
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alternatives that are out there. i do not think you can tag the two. that is what i have heard. look, i do not believe forumstances aren't eas easy anyone. but also, do not lose sight of the hard-working taxpayers who have been here. they do hard work as well. they get up and go to work everyday. we we need a balance for the two. that is my concern. i yield back. >> i believe in "it's to all of the undocumented workers -- i believe if we give these as to all of the undocumented -- green cards to all the undocumented workers, -- with
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the economy has healed -- it does not have to be all or none immediately. it can be done over time. they want the right to live here with dignity. we are making this country suffer through needless debates when it can be resolved right now. >> i think we're looking at it from a perspective of an overall look. i appreciate you coming here. the main concern is let's not trap ourselves in that definition reasons of comprehensive for other things. we can not say in the end, it did not fit the view of comprehensive. >> i thank the gentleman for his questions. i thank all the questions from the committee. i also thank the panel. you have endured more than three hours of restaurants. -- of questions.
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thank you for making this trip to washington to participate. we will excuse you now and turn to our second panel. >> president obama today asked for a short-term agreement with congress to avoid across-the- board spending cuts that are part of sequestration. the president opposing remarks are next on c-span. then, at house debate on the budget. some of the automatic spending cuts delayed by congress in december are scheduled to take effect next month. on the next "washington journal" we will talk about those cuts and proposals for increasing tax revenue and changing entitlement programs such as medicare and social security.
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i were guest is republican ofgressman michaelburge burgess texas. then representative henry waxman of california. your phone calls and tweets everyday day at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. president obama announced his plan for a series of automatic spending cuts -- and for avoiding a series of automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin march 1. it included both short-term spending cuts. the president spoke to reporters for over five minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. i wanted to say a few words about the looming deadlines and decisions that we face on our budget and on our deficit, and these are decisions that will have real and lasting impacts on the strength and pace of our recovery. economists and business leaders
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from across the spectrum have said that our economy is poised for progress in 2013. and we've seen signs of this progress over the last several weeks. home prices continue to climb. car sales are at a five-year high. manufacturing has been strong. and we've created more than six million jobs in the last 35 months. but we've also seen the effects that political dysfunction can have on our economic progress. the drawn-out process for resolving the fiscal cliff hurt consumer confidence. the threat of massive automatic cuts have already started to affect business decisions. so we've been reminded that while it's critical for us to cut wasteful spending, we can't just cut our way to prosperity. deep, indiscriminate cuts to things like education and training, energy and national
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security will cost us jobs, and it will slow down our recovery. it's not the right thing to do for the economy. it's not the right thing for folks who are out there still looking for work. and the good news is this doesn't have to happen. for all the drama and disagreements that we've had over the past few years, democrats and republicans have still been able to come together and cut the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion through a mix of spending cuts and higher rates on taxes for the wealthy. a balanced approach has achieved more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction. that's more than halfway towards the $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists and elected officials from both parties believe is required to stabilize our debt. so we've made progress. and i still believe that we can finish the job with a balanced mix of spending cuts and more tax reform.
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the proposals that i put forward during the fiscal cliff negotiations in discussions with speaker boehner and others are still very much on the table. i just want to repeat, the deals that i put forward, the balanced approach of spending cuts and entitlement reform and tax reform that i put forward are still on the table. i've offered sensible reforms to medicare and other entitlements, and my health care proposals achieve the same amount of savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms that have been proposed by the bipartisan bowles-simpson fiscal commission. these reforms would reduce our government's bill -- [laughter] what's up, cameraman? [laughter] come on, guys. [laughter] they're breaking my flow all the time. [laughter] these reforms would reduce our government's bills by reducing the cost of health care, not shifting all those costs on to
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middle-class seniors, or the working poor, or children with disabilities, but, nevertheless, achieving the kinds of savings that we're looking for. but in order to achieve the full $4 trillion in deficit reductions that is the stated goal of economists and our elected leaders, these modest reforms in our social insurance programs have to go hand-in-hand with a process of tax reform, so that the wealthiest individuals and corporations can't take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most americans. leaders in both parties have already identified the need to get rid of these loopholes and deductions. there's no reason why we should keep them at a time when we're trying to cut down on our deficit. and if we are going to close these loopholes, then there's no reason we should use the savings that we obtain and turn around and spend that on new tax breaks
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for the wealthiest or for corporations. if we're serious about paying down the deficit, the savings we achieve from tax reform should be used to pay down the deficit, and potentially to make our businesses more competitive. now, i think this balanced mix of spending cuts and tax reform is the best way to finish the job of deficit reduction. the overwhelming majority of the american people, democrats and republicans, as well as independents, have the same view, and both the house and the senate are working towards budget proposals that i hope reflect this balanced approach. having said that, i know that a full budget may not be finished before march 1st, and, unfortunately, that's the date when a series of harmful automatic cuts to job-creating investments and defense spending, also known as the "sequester," are scheduled to take effect.
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so if congress can't act immediately on a bigger package, if they can't get a bigger package done by the time the sequester is scheduled to go into effect, then i believe that they should at least pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months until congress finds a way to replace these cuts with a smarter solution. there is no reason that the jobs of thousands of americans who work in national security or education or clean energy, not to mention the growth of the entire economy should be put in jeopardy just because folks in washington couldn't come together to eliminate a few special interest tax loopholes or government programs that we agree need some reform. congress is already working towards a budget that would permanently replace the sequester. at the very least, we should
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give them the chance to come up with this budget instead of making indiscriminate cuts now that will cost us jobs and significantly slow down our recovery. so let me just repeat. our economy right now is headed in the right direction and it will stay that way as long as there aren't any more self- inflicted wounds coming out of washington. so let's keep on chipping away at this problem together, as democrats and republicans, to give our workers and our businesses the support that they need to thrive in the weeks and months ahead. thanks very much. and i know that you're going to have a whole bunch of other questions, and that's why i hired this guy, jay carney -- [laughter] to take those questions. thank you, everybody. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> house debated a measure that would require the president to submit a budget for balancing
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the federal budget. the congressman of georgia is a sponsor of the legislation. here is some of that debate. h time as i may consume. the chair:he gentleman is recognized. mr. ryan: i commend congressman price for introducing this bill and i join my colleagues in supporting its passage, but i wish it didn't come to this. president obama has a legal and a moral obligation to offer solutions to our fiscal challenges. so far that hasn't happened. using the numbers from his last budget proposal, the federal budget would not achieve balance ever. and st yesterday, he missed his statutory deadline to submit his budget for the fourth time in five years. since this administration started, we've added nearly $6 trillion to our national debt. that's the largest increase in history. look, we can't keep this up, mr. eaker. we have to budget responsibility so that we can keep our commitments and expand opportunity. all we're simply saying here is we need to put our plans on the table.
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house republicans have shown our solutions. the sena hasn't passed a budget in four years. the president hasn't even submitted a budget yet, even though it's past the deadline, and when he has submitted a budget, it's proposed that it never, ever, ever balances a budget. and isn't that what budgeting is, showing how you can get your budget under control so your expenditures and revenues eventually one day meet? that unfortunately hasn't been happening. and as a result, we have a debt crisis on our horizon. well, in this bill we don't say what policies the president must propose. we realize that he'll have his own. all we're saying is he needs to bring ideas to the table, show us how you'll balance a budget, when you'll balance a budget. it doesn't say when or how. it says, bring us a plan. show us how you'll balance a budget so we can have a debate. the way things ought to be, the way the founders intended it
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be, the house passes theirs, the senate passes theirs and the president offers his. when you put solutions on the table, you find common ground. when it's a one-way conversation where all you have is one side of the aisle putting solutions on the table and the other side of the aisle simplyffering criticismand no solution to ever balance a budget, that gets you no progress. unfortunately, m speaker, that's presizely where we are today. -- precisely where we are today. i'd like to yield the remainder of my time and the ability to control such time, the distinguished vice chairman of the budget committee, dr. price from georgia. the chair: the gentleman from georgia is cognized. mr. price: thank you, mr. chairman. at this point i'll reserve. the chair: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from maryland. once again, will the gentleman suspend for a second? once again, i'd like to ask members to please take their conversations off the floor. he's your guide.
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give him the respect that he deserves. at the back of the chamber, again, if you'd take your convertions off the floor. all right. the gentleman from maryland recogniz. mr. van hollen: i thank you, mr. speaker. and i just have to say to my colleagues looking at this bill that it represents ectly wha the american people hate most about this body and this congress. it's a political gimmick that does absolutely nothing to help create jobs. it does nothing to help boost economic growth. if you read the bill, it is another finger-pointing exercise, blaming the president for the late submission of the 2014 budget and demanding not that the president submit a budget.
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the president is going to submit a budget, but that he submit it in a form dictated by house republicans rather than dictated by current law. now, our republican closing know very well y the president's 2014 budget is late. it's late because we had a big debate in this country over how to avoid the fiscal cliff. and it wasn't until january 2 that this house and the senate were able to resolve that issue. if we'd gone over the fiscal cliff it would have created hugeconomic problems. it would have cated a huge contraction. it would have created a huge loss of jobs. now, even though a majority of republican senators voted for the agreement to prevent us from going over that fiscal cliff, our house republican colleagues argued against it and against it, and at the end of the day, they were prepared to let the economy go over that cliff in order to protect tax
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breaks for very wealthy people. and a majority, a great majority of our republican colleagues here in the house voted against that fiscal agreement. but we got it done despite that fact, and as a result, the economy has continued to move. now, we need to work to make it move faster, and this bill does absolutely nothing to help do that. but that's why the budget's a little late because most americans know that unless you know both what your expenditures are going to be and your revenues, you can't submit a budget, and we didn't know until january 2 what the revenue number would be going forward. and by the way, mr. speaker, the nonpartisan congressional budget office and the nonpartisan joint tax committee have also been delayed in presenting their backgrounds which have just come out today but were delayedrom whenhey had planned to do it because of that very reason. now, what's really a shame is that here we are on the floor
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of the house debating this gimmick when we should be doing things to help the economy and help grow jobs. on march 1, less than one month from today, we're going to see these automatic across-the bored meat ax cuts take -- across-the board meat ax cuts take place for defense and nondefense. now, those acrs-the board cuts will -- you don't have to take my word for it. here are the words of the republican house leader, mr. cantor, just a few months ago, and i quote -- der a sequester, unemployment would soar from its current level of 9% setting back any progress the economy has made. according to a study, which he referred to, and i'm quoting from him, jobs of more than 2,000 virginians in my home state are on the line. and that's just jobs in virginia. and he was talking about jobs lost from the defense cuts.
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if we don't act to replace the sequester, you're going to see jobs lost around the country. as a matter of fact, we're seeing what will happen from even the threat of the sequester, because in the lt quarter, we saw the economy slowing and many analysts have said it is fear of these across-the board cuts. and not just analysts but the republican chair of the house armed services committee, mr. mckeeon, said this, in referring to the last -- mr. mckeon, said this, in referring the last report, this is an indicator othe extraordinary economic damage -- economic damage defense cuts will do. mr. mckeon is right. so why are we spending our time on a bill that will not address that at all? we have not in this 113th congress had any debate on any measure to replace the sequester. our republican colleagues haven't brought that to the
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floor, but gets worse, because even though our republican colleagues haven't brought their proposal to the floor of this house to replace the sequester in this congress, we presented an alternative to the rules committee to replace the sequester, to do it in a balanced way, and we were denied an opportunity to have an up or down vote here in this chamber today on that proposal to replace the sequester for the remainder of this fiscal year so that we would avoid those across-the board meat ax cuts and avoidhe job loss that both mr. cantor and mr. mckeon talked about. we had a proposal to avoid all of that. not even a vote today, and we proposed to do it in a balanced way, mr. speaker, to make some cuts to some of the big agriculture subsidies, direct payments, also some revenue by closing taxpayer breaks for the big oil companies. our republican colleagues continue to stick to the
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position that they won't close one special interest tax break for the purpose of reducing the deficit. not one. they conceded in the last election that very wealthy individuals benefit from those tax breaks but they don't want to eliminate one of them for the purpose of reducing the deficit in a balanced way combined with spending cuts, which is what our constitute amendment would do and -- substitute amendment would do and it's important that the american people know we didn't have a chance to vote ont. mr. speaker, it's sad reflection on this body that we're here debati a meaningless political action and ignoring the real work of the american people in this country to deal with the sequester in a balanced way and prevent the job loss which republican members of this congress have themselves said are on the horizon if we don't take that action. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from maryland reserves. the gentleman from georgia is
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recognized. mr. price: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: you're recognized. mr. price: thank you, mr. airman. my colleague from maryland makes some interesting points. the problem with many of them is they simply aren't true. the -- for example, the congressional budget office gave their report on the economic situation today, and they have met their deadline. so contrary to what the gentleman from maryland said. the gentleman also knows that the amendment that he offered that he just cited that wasn't to be made in orr was not germane. the rules of the house precluded that. and he spent the majority of his time, mr. chairman, talking about the sequester, which is an important issue. there's no doubt about it, but it's not this issue. in fact, we passed -- house republicans passed a reconciliation bill last year that outlined the spending priorities that we would have, the spending priority reductions we would have in place of the sequester, and that sat over in the senate.
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so the ball is in the senate's court and the ball is in the president's court. today we're talking about h.r. 444, a bill that simply says to the president, mr. president, when you submit your budget, just let us know when it balances. 10 years, 20 years, 40 years, 75 years? when does it balance? just be honest and transparent with the american people. mr. chairman, as you know, we're the minority party here in washington. yes we have the majority in the house but we don't have the majori in the senate and we certainly don't control the white house and one of the roles of the minority is to provide accountability to the other side and to provide a contrast. well, as mr. ryan said in his opening remas, it's tough to have a contrast when you have specific legislation and you're comparing it to a speech. it doesn't work. the american people can't tell who's telling the trute and whose -- truth and whose policies they would prefer. that's why we believe it's imperative. in fact, it's the only fair
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thing too, to have the president, when he submits his budget, say, in fact, this is when it balances. and it's instructive to know, mr. chairman, asou well know, that the past four budgets that the president has proposed have never come to balance. never. that's important information. it's time for the president to admit that. so, e record of the president isn't great, as you well know, on this. $6 trillion of new debt on his watch, four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus annual deficits. more borrowing, more spending, more debt, more dreams crushed. house republicans have done our job. we've put forward two budgets over the past two years when we've been in the majority in which we have said, this is exactly how we would reform, save, strengthen and secure the programs that are so necessary for this country, but also how we would get this country on a path to balance. not for balance's stake. but because families do it, businesses do it and economies
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that don't demonstrate balance cannot b vibrant, cannot create jobs. cannot allow individuals to realize their dreams. so, mr. chairman, h.r. 444 is a commonsense piece of legislation . the gentleman from maryland talked a lot about what the american people want. pew polling industry just earlier last month said 72% of the americans say that reducing the budget deficit is a, quote, top priority for the president and the congress this year. it should be. 72%. mr. chairman, we're on the side of the american people. it's time for the president to show us a budget that balances or to state simply when his budget balances. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. there's no doubt that it's a priority of the american people, 72% of the american people, to reduce the deficit. we need to reduce the deficit.
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in fact, in the last election both candidates talked about their plans for how to reduce that deficitn a smart and measured way. and the american peoplspoke and ty said they preferred the balanced approach that the prident's laid out that includes a combination of cuts and by the way, we did more than $1.5 trillion of cuts through the combination of the budget control act and the supplementals in the last two or three years. we've already done that. we need to keep making more cuts and in fact our substitute proposal includes additional cuts. but in the last election the american people also said that we should close some of these tax breaks for special interests and very wealthy people. and yet our republican colleagues have takenhe position, the ironclad position, that you can't close or eliminate one of those tax
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breaks that their presidential candidate and vice president canned -- vice presidential candidate talked about if you want to use that for the purpose reducing the deficit. can't do it. so, yes, we need to reduce the deficit. the president has a plan to do it. he just doesn't do it the way our republican colleagues would do it which is by lacking -- whacking social security and medicaid and by shortchanging important investments in our education and in our kids' future. so, yes, reduce the deficit. but let's do it in a sensible way and the president has the prerogative of getting to put forward his budget the w he would like to present it to congress and then congress can do its work however it wants. and with that i yield to my friend and colleague from maryland and someone who has been very focused on reducing our deficits in a responsible way, mr. hoyer. the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. may i remind my colleagues, i appreciate the honor, but i'm
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only a chairman today. the gentleman is rognized. mr. hoyer: we wish you the best for the future. the chair: thank you. mr. van hollen, may i ask for how long he was recognized? mr. van hollen: i yield four minutes. the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. price of georgia said what the american people want. what the american people don't want is games. this is a game. this is a sham. this is a shame. what the american people want is honest legislation to address the challenges that confront us. in 23 or 24 days we're going to face aequester. that sequester has been pointed out mr. cantor and i agree on. it will have adverse negative consequences for our economy, for the american people and for the confidence of america.
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t we are not spending time to avoid the sequester. mr. price in fact says this is not about the sequester. he's right. mr. ryan said the founding fathers -- the founding fathers had no idea and no intention the president of the united states would be involved in the budgeting process, period. none. read the constitution, my friends. i've heard a lot about that. the founding fathers thought it would be the legislative body and the legislative body alone that would have responsibility. it wasn't frankly until the last century that the president played a significant role in the budget. because the foundi fatrs, if you read the constitution, thought under article 1 we were responsible. and now, my friend, we have a game -- my friends, we hav a game. my friend from georgia, distinguished gentleman from
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georgia, said that we want a contrast. you have a contrast. you didn't want a contras you didn't make it in order. because you don't want the contrast. what you want is your political messaging bill. that at the end of theday will do zip, nada, zero to address the problems confronting america. it's a game. sadly it's a game because the american people deserve and need better from us. more responsibility, more reality, more honesty in the actions we take on this floor. this is a political messaging bill. it's not even a very big bill. and by the way, the bill to which the gentleman from georgia referred is not before this congress. it was the last congress that congress, i tell the gentleman, is over.
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but we have a sponsibility in the 113th congress to act responsibly. not just to point to what was or was not done in the 112th congress. this is a politil messagg bill, mr. speaker. pure and simple. it does nothing to solve the most immediate problem we are now facing, that is the looming sequester. and all the uncertainty it is causing. what we ought to be working on this week is a bipartisan solution to the sequester that averts the negative cuts, the adverse consequenceses that will take place -- consequences that will take place 23 to 24 days from now. instead, mr. speaker, we hear not only silence from many of the republicans but irresponsible acquiescence. yesterdayepublicans blocked coideration of an amendment by the ranking member of the budget committee, mr. van hollen, that woulreplace the sequester with spending cuts and additional revenue, a balanced package.
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now, mrepublican friends probably would have voted against that. but they didn't even allow the contrast of which the gentleman from georgia speaks. why? because they want a unilateral message for their hardline constituents. that is why, mr. speaker, and it's a shame because the american people and our economy are suffering because of these actions. this is very disappointing. as mr. van hollen's amendment is exactly the approach we ought to consider on this floor. may i have one additional minute? mr. van hollen: yes, you have an additional minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. i'll be quick. and the president of the united states, for contrast, i tell my friend from georgia, supports this exact alternative. will he support others in a compromise? heill. but this is the alternative that
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he supports so it's the contrast that the gentleman seeks. i suggest perhaps we ask unanimous consent that they change their mind. to do so would be devastating if we don't fix this sequester. to our economy and our ability to create opportunities for america. it's time that our friends in the majority and this house -- in this house stop pretending that the sequester is not dangerous or it can be a viable tool to achieve the fiscal discipline we need. it's not that tool and in fact it's very dangerous. was we move move closer toward e march -- as we move closer to the march 1 deadline, i want to tell my friend from georgia, whom i respect, that i would hope that we could engage in a positive discussion and crucial on this floor of an alternative like mr. van hollen's. not because you will support it but because it's a viable, effective alternative. and then you provide an effective alternative. there is no alternative in the bill you provide on this floor today.
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and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from georgia mr. price: thank you, mr. chairman. i look forward to that debate as well b that's not the debate that we're havintoday. the debate that we're having today is a serious debate about whether or not we're going to get our fiscal house in order and whether or not the president's going to engage in a positive way. mr. hoyer: will the gentleman yield? mr. price: the president has put forward budgets that have not shown balance at all, ever. mr. hoyer: will the ntleman yield? mr. price: this is a serious debate. this is not a game. mr. hoyer: will the gentleman yield? mr. price: mr. chairman. i believe i have the time. the chair: you have control. mr. price: this is a serious debate about a serious issue. the same words were used by the gentleman on the bill that we had on the floor two weeks ago. the no budget no pay act. that was such a game that the senate passed it and the president signed it. no, mr. chairman, this is serious business. and the american pple know it. and they know that it's time for the president and the democratic -controlled senate to step up and do their job. i'm pleased to yield two minutes
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to my friend from louisiana, mr. scalise. the chair: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for two minutes. mr. scalise: thank you, mr. chairman, and i want to thank my colleague, the gentleman from georgia, for yielding and for bringing forward the require a plan act. you know when our colleagues on the other side talk about games and all of these things that are frustrating and angering the american people, what angers them the most when they don't see washington doing their job. the law says the president, the house and the senate have to produce a budget. and the house has met its legal obligation the last two years. the senate, they've failed to produce a budget in four years. and the president has missed his legal deadline four of the last five years. one of my colleagues said that somehow it's the republicans' fault this year that the president didn't produce the budget on time. well, ok, if that's the case, then that means three of the other four years is he going to blame, like, maybe the dog ate his homework or maybe blame it on president bush? at some point this president's got to take responsibility and live by the same laws that
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american families live by. you know, american families at the end of each year, they sit around the house, kitchen table, and they do a budget. they actually figure out what their priorities are going to be. and they look to washington and they see a president and a senate that literally ignore the law and say, they're not going to produce a budget. they're not going to produce a budget that balances. they're not going to produce a budget that sets priorities. they'rjust going to keep borrowing money from china and sending the bill to our kids and our grandkids and then the president wants to come and demand that ngress give them another -- him another credit card. we absolutely have to pay off the debts of the past but when the president says not only pay those debts off but give another credit card so he can spend more money, but he doesn't lay out plan of how he's going to spend that money and by the way, whatever he produces never, ever balances. is it too much just to ask the president when is your budget going to finally get to balance? if it's not next year, if it's not 10 years from now, if it's not 20 years from now, at least put tt transparency out there in public. he said he was going to be the most transparent president ever
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and when it comes time actually deliver, to produce and to show something to the american people , he always wants to blame somebody else. we have to stop living cris to crisis. and one of the ways you stop this crisis of the moment is to finally produce a plan. lay something out. let's debate it. we can have disagreements over it. but you have to start with a plan. and that's what this bill does. i urge my colleagues to adopt it and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from maryland reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. price: how much time remains? the chair: the gentleman from georgia has 21 minutes remaining. the gentleman from maryland has 16 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. price: i'm pleased to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from mississippi, a new member of the budget committee, mr. nunnelee. the chair: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. nunnelee: any family that has found themselves in a financial crisis knows this is not a game.
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i'm one of those families. 18 years ago i lost my job in a corporate merger. after 48 hours of depression, my wife and i woke up, made a pot of coffee, drew a line down the middle of the page. on one side we wrote down this is what we have coming in. on the other side we wrote down this is how we're going to end it. in an economy when far too many our friends and family members are out of work, there's no question in my mind that while we're debating this there are families going through that exact exercise. those families that are making those tough decisions in their family budgets have every reason to inspect their policymakers -- expect their policymakers to do the se. we shed tears around the kitchen table thamorning. those families are shedding tears around the kipen table right now. they know that's -- kitchen table right now.
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they know that's not a game. they expect washington to come up with a budget. that's what this bill does. it says, mr. president, give us budget, tell us when it balances. tell us when you'll have a balanced budget. we asked the president to do the same thing that american families are doing. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: i reserve. the chair: continues to reserve. the gentleman from georgia. mr. price: thank you, mr. chairman. i am pleased to yield to a new member of the house, mr. messer. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. messer: i commend my colleague, dr. price. this bill says one very simple thing, that the president, when he smits a budget, must say when or whether it balances. the american people deserve to
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know when the budget proposed by the president will balance. that's all this bill requires. it doesn't say that the president has to balance the budget, though it should. it doesn't s he should need to stop spending money that we don't have, though it should. it says to the american people when, if at all, the budget proposal will not be in deficit. this should not be a partisan issue. the past presidents should have submitted balanced budgets. our current president should submit a balanced budget. future presidents should do the same. this bill is a commonsense step in the right direction. i urge my colleagues to support the bill. thank you, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: i reserve. the chair: continues to reserve. the gentleman from georgia. mr. price: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. fleischmann. the chair: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. fleischmann: thank you, mr.
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chairman. i rise in support orequire a plan act. every year the president is supposed to submit a budget the first monday in february. yesterday present obama missed this deadline for the fourth time in five years. mr. chairman, the american people know what it's like to work through tough times and to live on a budget. when my wife and i started our small business, we made only $50 the first month. we worked hard and made sacrifices to live within our means. families across this great nation are still doing that, and it's embarrassing that the president and senate democrats refuse to put forth a plan. republicans have produced a budget that made tough choices but reduces our debt and achieves fiscal responsibility. the require a plan act demands that the president explain to the american people how he intends to do the same. the great people of our nation deserve at least that. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields
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back. the gentleman from maryland reserves? the gentleman from georgia. mr. price: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. ross. the chair: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes. mr. ross: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the gentleman from georgia for his exceptional work on this particular act. mr. chairman, i rise today in support of the plan act. for the past few years, our government has been operating off stopgap measures and negotiations threatening government shutdowns. at a time when our country is more than $16 trillion in debt, all of which is saddled on our children and grandchildren, we must act to deal are the years upon years of rampant out-of-control government spending that has been under both parties. we need to know how wneed to spend the taxpayers' dollars. that plan is a budget, a budget that needs to balance over time. the house s passed
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legislation each year that would work to balance our budget. since the senate will not take up our legislation, that the country and the people of florida so desperately need, we are calling upon the president to do his job, to propose a solution that will balance our budget throughout the next 10 years. the senate has not passed a budget innearly four years. ononday this president for the fourth time missed his legally oblated deadline for filing his budget request. we're reiring the senate and the president to show some leadership by submitting a budget plan to preserve america's future. and with that, mr. chairman, i yielback the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. chairman. may i inquire as to how much time remains on each side? the chair: the gentleman from maryland has 16 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from georgia has 16 minutes remaining. mr. van hollen: mr. chairman, i inquire we're doing half of the total time tomorrow. would the chairman know how
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much time today remains on each side the chair: you have a maximum of 16 1/2 minutes. he has 16 minutes. it's up to you on how much you wish to consume today. mr. price: if i may, mr. chairman? my understanding is that we're each ing to take 15 minutes' time which would allow you a minute and a half and our side would take a minute and i have no onether than mysf to close. that's my understanding, mr. chairman. mr. van hollen: mr. airman, let me make a couple of comments which are 100% accurate, just so people watching this can understand what we're all talking about, since there's a lot of confusion. the president is going to submit audget. he's submitted a budget every year of his four terms, four years. our republican colleagues don't like the budgets that he smits, but they're free to look -- submits, but they're free to look at them, they're transparent, they're on the internet. the president is late because we tried to work an agreement
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on january 2 and you need to know what your revenues are going to be before you put together a budget, number one. number two, the house can take whatever action it wants on the president's budget. you can tell the people you don't like it and you can have your own alternative. but he's going to submit a budget that's transparent, which is why we shouldn't be wasting time talking about this on the floor of the house when in less than one month we're going to seehese across-the board meat ax cuts take place that our republican colleagues themselves said will hurt the jobs and hurt the economy, which is why we proposed an alternative, aubstitute that will prevent those meat ax cuts from taking place. unfortunately our colleagues who keep saying they want an open and transparent process put the gavel down and said, no, that this house of representatives isn't going to have a chance to vote on something to prevent the across-the board sequester cuts
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. instead, they just want to keep on whistling by this problem, take it up in this congress. so i ask my colleagues to get serious, come back with a line like ours that prevents a sequester, and that will demonstrate, mr. chairman, that we're serious, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: thank you. the chair wishes to remind the gentleman that he has 15 minutes remaining. thank you. sorry for the inteuption. the gentleman from geoia. mr. pre: -- the chair: do i assume -- mr. price: mr. chairman, i yield myself for one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. price: mr. chairman, this is what this is about. this is the debt of our country right down here. the red path is where we're headed. under this president's proposals. the red path results in extreme hardship to all americans, but especially those at the lower
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end of the economic spectrum. we believe that it's extremely important for the nation to know that the positive, principled, fair, caring solutions that the republicans put forward to save, strengthen and secure therograms are in contrast to a specific proposal from the other side. and to date we haven't seen that proposal. we've seen a lot of speeches, seen a lot of -- heard a lot of wonderful words, but the american people need to know when the president's budget balanc. and this bill simply says, mr. president, tell us when your budget balances.
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>> it outlined the fiscal policies needed to achieve the budget. live coverage at 9:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> the single thing we want to remember is the budget was lower than when we came. that is the story for us now. the economy grew a lot. unemployment was below 5%. how did he manage to keep the budget going lower? how did that help the economy? a lot because the government was out of the way of the economy. >> tracing the life of the 30th president of the united states sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's
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"q&a." >> the federal budget deficit will decline by $155 billion in 2013, according to a new congressional budget report. the upcoming spending cuts along with spending increases will slow economic growth this year. doug elmendorf, the congressional budget office director, spoke to reporters about the latest cbo projections. >> thank you all for coming. i am the director of the congressional budget office. cbo just released its outlook for the federal budget and the economy over the next decade. i would like to tell you a little about it, and then my colleagues and i will be happy to take your questions. our analysis shows that the united states continues to face very large economic and budget challenges. under current law, we expect the
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unemployment rate will remain above 7.5% through next year. that would make 2014 the sixth year in a row that unemployment is so high, the longest such period in seven years. also under current law, we expect budget deficits over the next decade to total about $7 trillion. with deficits so high, the federal debt on the public will remain a larger percentage of gdp than in any year between 1951 to 2012. by the end of the decade, debt would be 77% of gdp, on an
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upward path. let me elaborate on those points, beginning with the economy and then turning to the budget. we anticipate that economic growth will remain slow this year because the gradual improvement that we see in the underlying economic factors will be offset by a tightening of federal fiscal policy scheduled under current law. the good news is that the effects of the housing financial crisis appear to be gradually waning. we expect an upswing in construction and real estate and stock prices, and the increasing availability of
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credit will help to spur a cycle of faster growth, employment, income, consumer spending, and business investment over the next few years. however, several policies that help to bring down the budget deficit will represent a drag to economic activity this year. the expiration of the two percentage point cut of the payroll tax, the increase in tax rates on incomes above a certain threshold, and cuts in federal
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spending scheduled to take effect next month will mean reduced spending by both consumers and the government. we project an inflation-adjusted gdp will increase about 1.5% in 2013. but it will increase roughly 1.5 percentage points faster if not for fiscal tightening. after the economy adjusts, we expect the growth in real gdp will pick up to about 3.5% per
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year in 2014 and the following few years. but the gap between the nation's gdp and what is capable of producing on a sustainable basis, what we call "potential gdp," will not close quickly at that rate of growth. we expect output to remain below its potential level until 2017, almost one decade after the recession started in 2007. by our estimates, gdp was low last year. there was the get that existed three years ago. growth and output since then has been only slightly better. the nation has paid and will continue to pay a very large price for recession and slow recovery. we estimate that the total loss of output relative to the
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economic potential is between 2007 to 2017, the equivalent of nearly half the output produced in the country last year. with the gap between actual and potential output, projected to close only slowly, we expect the unemployment rate to stay near 8% this year, to fall below 7% in 2015, and to reach 5.5% in 2017. let me turn now to the budget. under current laws, the federal debt will shrink in 2013 for a fourth year in a row. an estimated $845 billion. the deficit would be the first
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in five years below $1 trillion. and at 5.25% of gdp, it will be only about half as large of the size of the economy as the deficit was in 2009. our projections based on current laws showed deficits continuing to fall over the next few years, reaching about 2.5% of gdp in 2015 before turning up again to nearly 4% by the end of the decade.
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a big reason for declining deficits is federal revenues are projected to grow because of both the expanding economy and changes in tax laws and are scheduled under current law. as a result, we expect revenues, which were less than 16% of gdp in 2012, will be about 19% in 2015. under current law, expected revenues will then be roughly 19% of gdp for the rest of the decade, compared to an average of 18% over the past 40 years. at the same time, under current law, that projection shows federal spending falling relative over the next several years. the spending that goes up when the economy is weak, like
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unemployment benefits, is expected to drop off. after 2017 though, spending projections start growing again as a percentage of gdp. the aging of the population, increasing health-care costs, an ace in the expansion of eligibility for health insurance will push up spending on social security and major health-care programs. in addition, the return of interest rates to more normal levels will push up interest payments to the largest share of gdp in five decades. during the past 40 years, federal spending has averaged 21% of gdp. our projection for 2023, it is about 23% of gdp. what would that look like under those circumstances? we expect that again under current law federal debt held by the public will reach -- by the end of this fiscal year, the largest percentage since 1950. it will then remain above 73% throughout the decade, far higher than the average we have seen in the past. remember, as recently as 2007, it was only 36% of gdp. but 2023, with a budget -- would be 77% of gdp rising. what stability as a share of gdp over the next 10 years, it has had a sharp upward surge over the past years. this will remain a significant concern for several reasons. first, the crushing out of investment will be great. lawmakers will have less flexibility than they might ordinarily have to use tax and spending policies to respond to unexpected items, such as a recession or war, and a heightened risk, in which the government will be unable to borrow at affordable rates. second, debt would be even larger if current laws are modified. as they have in the past, to delay schedule changes in policy. for example, if lawmakers eliminated the automatic spending cuts that will take effect in march but left in place the original caps in the budget control act, if they prevented the sharp reduction pertaining to physicians taking
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effect next year, and extending tax provisions scheduled to expire, then budget -- will be substantially larger than their baseline projections. debt would rise to 87% of gdp, rather than 77% under current law. third, debt might also be larger than our projections because even the regional caps on discretionary funding would reduce such spending to an unusually small amount relative to the size of the economy, and that would be difficult to sustain. the cbo projects with just the original cast in place, discretionary spending would be 5.8% of gdp in 2023, a smaller share than in any year in at least the past 50. because the allocation of discretionary spending is determined, lawmakers have not yet decided the specific government services that would be reduced or constrained to meet the specified limits. and forth, projections for the 10-year period covered in this report do not fully reflect long-term budget pressures. because of the aging population and rising health-care costs, a rising gap exists between benefits and services the public is accustomed to receiving from the government, especially in the form of benefits for older americans, and the tax revenues. it is possible to keep the policies for there have been -- both large benefit programs unchanged, but only by raising taxes substantially for a broad segment of the population.
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alternatively, it is possible to keep bees at their historical average as a percentage of gdp but only when there are cuts relative to current policies and those to help a broad group of people read some point in their lives. deciding now the culmination of policy changes to make to resolve that in ballots would allow for gradual implementation, which would give health holds, businesses, and state and local governments time to plan and time to adjust behavior. thank you. we are happy to answer your questions. yes? >> can you say who you are and where you are from? >> this is less a budget issue in more on the economic projections.
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quantitative easing and how the fed does this bold experiment, you are looking at, if i understand your projections right, roughly 4% gdp growth at a time where the 10-year yield is somewhere around 5.2%, and inflation is still above 2%. can you talk a little bit about the out years, how you approach this? is this a normal period in our economic history? >> this is a highly unusual period in our economic history. we expect the federal reserve will start to raise the federal funds rate in 2016 and start to sell assets out of its portfolio in 2016. under current law and budget projections, economic projections that we have, that would amount to an extraordinarily long period of extraordinarily low interest rates. that is what the fed says it is trying to do in order to provide as much support to the economy as it can, and we expect
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it will continue to provide that support. the interest rate on 10-year treasury notes will start to rise sooner than we expect because those rates reflect not just current short-term rates but expectations of future short-term rates, and we think financial participants will begin to look more and more at the period after the federal reserve has brought the rates back up to more normal levels, so we have a long-term rates hitting sooner than the short- term rates. that is not typical. we get a short-term rates heading up where we think the other up with a writ will be coming down decisively, and it will be working its way back, and inflation will be coming up towards the rate the fed says it
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is turning. >> a debate on can they withdraw support, are you guys looking at past history? >> we expect they will be able to reduce the size and raise interest rates in a way that prevents inflation beyond the target. as you know, they have tools they have not had in the past, in particular, dealing with the reserves. and because we are in a situation we have not been in before and they are doing things they have not done
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before. >> from "the washington post." you say that recovery has been so slow that the gap between output and potential output has not changed very much. my question is, is this pattern of recovery substantially different from previous recoveries? in other words, in previous recoveries did we reach the potential much sooner? secondly, you seem to assume there is going to be a pickup. if we will get to your estimate in 2016 or 2017? >> yes. >> what do you base that on? we have been growing less -- we have not had that boost above potential until now. why would you expect we would get it now? >> as you know, it is very unusual to have output fall short of potential output for this long.
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the only previous episode i am aware of was in the great depression. but if one looks at the experience around the world, the financial crises, it is often the case that output remains well below potential. a lot of unemployment remains high. a lot of resources remain unused. for a considerable period of time. well households reduce the leverage they had heading into the financial crisis. today it appears the process of deleveraging has gone on to a significant extent. household wealth is rising now. stock prices are rising. house prices are rising. mortgage and debt is falling. we think households are in a stronger position to spend than they have been. business investment, not
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particularly strong for the last year, but seemed to do well toward the end of the year. in terms of its growth rate, we think that state and local governments will be providing less of a drag on the economy. we wrote our report last fall about these sources of the slow growth, the slow recovery. one very important factor in our assessment was the cuts state and local governments have been making in response to the loss of revenues they have suffered. we think that factor is improving. so, we think there are a number of elements of demand for goods and services in the economy that are taking off. the housing market is another important one to mention,
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although it is rebounding from a low level. it is clearly rebounding. house prices are coming up. house sales are rising. look across the economy, we see momentum building. i think that is consistent with experience in other countries after some period of time in which growth resumes. on top of that is the effect of fiscal tightening for 2013, which this year we think offsets most of that gathering strength in the economy. but by the time the economy has adjusted to the tightening this year, projections for current the law, next year and beyond we will see economic growth. port and risks on the upside and downside, but we think it is a reasonable middle given what we have seen today.
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>> one and a half questions, if i could. you talk about the fiscal drag from this year. can you give us separate estimates for each of those elements, or at least specifically the sequester, and how much of a drag that would be? and there was an increase in spending. i wonder what the situation was there? >> on fiscal tightening, we said we saw a total of 1.5% of gdp effected by fiscal tightening. it is in our baseline projection. gdp growth would be 1.5% faster this year without that tightening. we said 1.25% of that comes from the big fact of people -- we analyzed it last fall -- about half those two the sequester and half goes to the increases in taxes from the expiration of the payroll tax cut and higher tax rates on higher incomes. your meaning 0.25% is from a collection of other factors in the budget. that is the breakdown. that is as precise as we think we could reasonably be. as for the extra half question -- increase in the agriculture spending, i'm afraid i cannot speak to that directly. i do not know if my colleagues know that off hand. if not we have to get back to you separately. >> two questions. the first, really inside baseball -- in your june report you had debt to gdp at 200% by 2037. my colleague wants to know, based on this current report, it sounds like you have pushed
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that back to 2040. >> i do not think you can draw that conclusion. your colleague is referring to our long-term budget outlook from last year, which looks at 25 years and some of the on that. we have not updated those long- term projections yet. we will do that later this year. so we do not know how the change in the projections for the first decade will affect the path of debt beyond that. >> how do you factor in things like the fracking revolution -- or do you not factor in circumstances like that? >> we do try to factor that in. we have separate analysis underway on the effects of fracking on the economy. our parliamentary insights are in the forecast. our view is that fracking good for the us economy relative to not having fracking at all, but the effect is probably smaller than some of the more enthusiastic supporters have said. we -- moreover, our economic
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forecasts do not generally pick out specific elements of innovation in techniques or shifts in the composition of output. we are looking at a cruder approach, just to stack up the labor and capital resources for some sense of overall productivity. our projection has in them a certain amount of new ideas -- given the potential importance of fracking, are doing a separate analysis which is not quite complete. >> you talked about how debt to gdp is now around the 76, much higher than the average. one of the big debates in washington is how much additional deficit reduction should be done.
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do you guys have any projections of how much additional deficit reduction it would take to stabilize debt to gdp? >> i am not sure i know that fact exactly. as the show in a report -- i can go back to the crucial picture -- the debt to gdp ratio will be 76% of gdp. that is a decline in to around 73%, then back up to 77%. what the right level of debt is relative to gdp is not a question to which economists have an analytic answer. what we have said, consistent with the consensus view, is
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that high levels of debt have costs and risks. the costs are the crowding out of investment and the reduction of output and income that comes with that. the risks are particularly the inability of policymakers to respond to unexpected developments. notice that in the last six years the debt to gdp ratio has risen from 36% to 76%. if we were to run along at 77% of gdp and were to encounter another recession or a more serious recession, a financial crisis, then there would be much less room to move. countries that find themselves with very high debt to gdp and then in counter economic problems or circumstances where they need to respond, really find themselves in very bad and dangerous circumstances.
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at this level of debt relative to gdp, our country would be airing risks of the sort that we have not in our history except for a few years around the end of the second world war. at the same time, bringing down debt requires reductions in benefits and services that we are getting from the government or higher taxes paid to the government. we released another report that looks at the alternative budgetary factors. we lay out some alternatives. i'm not recommending any, but sadly showing the consequences.
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another benchmark you might have in mind is, we have gone from 36% to 70%. suppose you want to reverse that. we are pretty patient. you would do it over the next 40 years. we would be taking down 40% of gdp. you want to do one percent per year. that kind of reduction would get you to 66% at the end of 2023. over 10 years. that is 66% compared with 77% in our current baseline. to get that slight downward slope, you would need to reduce debt by 11% of gdp in 2023. that is about $2.75 trillion. if you did that gradually, you would have debt service savings
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when you got to 2023, but you would still need maybe $2.25 trillion of savings from lower benefits and services or higher taxes over the decade. to put that on that sort of gradual downward trajectory. some people would argue that we should not push that down that far, and they are implicitly saying that they are comparable or willing to bear the cost and the risk. other people would say that we should not wait so long. we should not be on a 40-your path to return debt to where it has been. we should do it faster. they are implicitly saying they're willing to accept larger cuts in benefits and services or larger increases in taxes than are built into current law. that is a choice that we as citizens need to make and our representatives need to make on our behalf. >> i take it from what you are saying that you do not deny there is an argument that the us government is within a short lunch of the goal line after all the work that has been done, and by the way the goal line and has become stabilizing debt rather than reducing it, so i take it -- the way you have reduced your medium-term growth projections and raised the treasury rate projection, to what extent does that come down on the deficit reduction that has been made over the last two years? >> on the first point we have said many times and still think that minimum requirements for sustainable fiscal policy is a stable ratio of debt to gdp. as we have said before, debt cannot continue to rise. over this decade, we're shown a ratio of debt to gdp that is
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roughly stable. but as i said in the report, there are costs and risks. moreover, you can see the back path of the 10-year window -- we will see it in our next report. you will see that deficits are rising and debt is rising relative to gdp. that is because underlying forces that are widening this imbalance, the aging of the population and rising spending on healthcare, those forces are still at work. you can see, from the work that me and many other people have done about the forces driving the budget, that that is not going to last. revisions to the economic forecast -- our forecast are stronger in the near-term because the legislation enacted at the beginning of january took away a large share of the fiscal tightening that was scheduled to appear. that we had built into our forecast last summer. our economic forecast is brighter in the near term because fiscal tightening has been reduced. it is not so bright new the end
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of the budget window. in our outlook, we down the effects of different factors in changing our budget projections. the net effect of economic factors was slightly positive but small in terms of the 10- year deficit. far and away the most important thing that happened between our last projection and this one was the enactment of budget legislation in january. the second most important thing
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was are revisions to spending at some of the federal government health programs. >> do you have an estimate of what kind of job growth deficit reduction creates over 10 years? >> we have not done any estimates on the effects of different 10-year paths on job growth in this report we released today. we have done estimates before of the effects on unemployment, changes on fiscal policy in the short-term. in this report, the outlook, we talk about the extra 1.5% of gdp that we would have at the end of 2013, if not for fiscal tightening. that would translate into about 2 million additional jobs by the end of 2013 if none of the
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fiscal tightening that is scheduled in current law actually took effect. that estimate is quite persistent with -- consistent with estimates we released last fall about the output and employment effects of the components of fiscal tightening that were in place then. maybe to be more specific -- of that 2 million jobs, most of that is due to the combination of maybe 1.5 million due to the combination of sequester and tax provisions. those defects are each about half of that 1.5 million. the other 0.5 million comes from a collection of policies contributing to fiscal tightening. >> what certainty do you have we will gain these jobs back in future years on the deficit reduction we are seeing now? >> i would like to emphasize -- we are not fairly certain of these numbers. we are making the best estimates we can. much of our work about the economic effect of fiscal policy, we report estimates precisely to show the uncertainty that is involved. we think that right now, the
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economy is suffering, as it has to last several years, from a shortfall for demand in goods and the. a lack of desired spending by households and businesses and governments. and the federal reserve has been trying to offset that weakness in demand with stimulative monetary policy, but has limitations that you are all aware of. so, under those circumstances, we think the gap between potential and actual output is larger and pushes the unemployed rate up. but as we look out 10 years from now, we think that the underlying economic momentum will bring the economy back toward a potential output. moving unemployment back down will allow the federal reserve
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to bring short-term interest rates back up again. under those circumstances, fiscal policy has somewhat different effects on the economy. in the medium run and long-run, the way fiscal policy can contribute to economic growth is by reducing borrowing and freeing up funds for investment and perhaps changing the incentives in tax policy and federal benefit programs. there are different economic circumstances over the next few years relative to later on, and we think that the policy -- policies that would restrain growth today, would also bring down deficits, would ultimately be beneficial once the economy returns to sustainable levels of employment and output. >> along the same lines -- house republicans are considering a budget this year that will have a 10-year
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balance. i am wondering if you could address it all -- what the implications of that could be, and if that time window of 10 years, how does that mesh with some of the examples you have given earlier about reduction? >> our baseline projection of the deficit for 2023 is about $1 trillion. to balance the budget in 2020 three would require reduction's in the deficit relative to current law of about $1 trillion. if one got there gradually over the course of the next decade, that might involve reduction on the order of $4 trillion relative to current law. and in fact, in the other report, the economic effects of alternative budget paths we have an example we picked independent of any particular discussions on the hill, one of our examples was $4 trillion in
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ends up $9 trillion. $2 trillion cumulative reduction and we looked at a range of possibilities. the amount of deficit reduction to balance the budget in 2023 is a large number. and not from the current law baseline but from current policies, then the deficit reduction required will be even greater. the economic effects of that depend on the timing and on the nature of the changes in policies. so our analysis today of alternative macroeconomics of alternative budget paths looks at total amounts of deficit change and does not incorporate any specific proposals on effects to work and to save. we analyze those in specific policies. and whenever the policy makers would do to reduce the deficit, the economic effect will be depend on how they do it and it depends on the timing. sharp deficit reduction, next few years, given the large
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amount of slack in the economy, given the constraints on the federal reserve's actions would reduce output and employment in the next few years by our estimates and that is consistent with the work we have done in the recovery act and several years running to stimulate the economy and increase employment. and consistent with consensus. deficit reduction in the short run would negative short-term effects on the economy. deficit reduction later would have positive medium and long- term effects on the economy. so the set of effects that would occur over a decade in response to a particular budgetary path would depend on when this reduction would occur in addition to the composition in the change in policy. i don't mean to be vague, but there is no more explicit answer that would apply to any possible way of achieving the goal you mentioned.
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yes? >> talk about your h-42, the -- estimates -- [inaudible question] >> there is an append discs that -- appendix that gives the year-by-year economic predictions and you flip to page 64 can see on a year by year basis. interest rates are two-thirds of the way down on that table on page 64. you can see as i mentioned before, the short-term interest rate, the -- stays extremely low through 2015 but then moves up rapidly in 2016, 2017 and then in 2018 up 4%.
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and that happens in our forecast because we think the strengthening of the economy by 2016, the reduction in the unemployment rate, we think will have occurred by then. and will leave the federal reserve to tighten policy. in addition to the interest rate, we think the federal reserve will start to sell assets from the portfolio beginning in 2016. the long-term interest rates move up basically in anticipation of the path of short rates. so we think market participants who expect the federal reserve to raise short rates will start to raise long-term rates ahead of that. long-term rates start up. tiny bit this year and more next year and in 2015. and at the back half of the 10- year window, we end up with both short and long-term rates that are 20 boys is points higher -- basis points higher
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than we had in our august projection. based on current law which showed much smaller deficits. long-term rates are higher in long-term than we had in this country and that also reflects the higher amount of debt, federal debt relative to g.d.p. than we have had over the past several decades. >> "washington post.? -- "washington post." thinking about how we should view the budget battles over the last two years. we are stabilizing debt at a much higher level. to what extent is that a result of decisions that were made by lawmakers and to what extent that is the underlying recovery in the economy? >> both factors and we have not tried to quantify them. one can look at our projections over the past several years and basically add up each successive revision, so every time we release new budget projections, we report the revisions and we divide them into the effects of economic forecasts and changes to other technical revisions. if one stacked all those up, one can get a sense about how much the debt has changed or the deficit has changed for any
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given year relative to any particular path projection than one could look at. we have not tried to do that. an important part of what's happening is the economy is strengthening. so receive news are a larger share of g.d.p. in 2013 than they are in 2012 in our projections here. another factor is the -- some specific pieces of legislation that had effects on the deficit. the recovery act is an important piece of that. it was passed in 2009 and important source of reduction in some categories of spending over the past few years has been the tailing off of the extra outlays that occurred under the recovery act. there has also been caps established -- cutbacks and caps established on discretionary spending. but to really pars out or have a quantified answer to your question, we need to be specific about the starting point you had in mind and the comparison point. we somewhere baseline projections but people may have other starting points in mind. they may want to be starting
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from something else and then you have to do a different set of calculations. we don't have a view about how much has been done in that sense. we are really focused on what we see are the issues here forward. >> tom curry with nbc news. you say a number of points in this report, you talk about the historical points in the last 30, 40 years. going back to the 10-year treasury, you're saying by the end of this budget period, it will be 5.2%. the 40-year average is 7%. do you look at that average and say -- >> what i meant to say, adjusting for inflation, we have a real interest rate on the 10-year treasury note projected to 2023 that is higher than the average real inflation adjusted rate on treasury notes in the past. inflation rate of 2% is lower than the inflation rate we have seen in the past. i think you are making a
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comparison of the nominal interest rate and i don't have the facts at hand. the way we think about this is to think about what inflation will be and what real interest rates would be and add those pieces up to get a nominal rate. >> i'm from "national journal.? -- "national journal." what the balanced budget would be in 10 years? is that through nondefense discretionary spending or will that require in 10 years changes or significant cuts to entitlement programs? >> well, that's a good question. so in our projections, there's a table that shows discretionary spending year by year and total over the period. table 15 and that is page 23 -- 26 and 27.
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so you can see there -- if you look at the right-hand page, page 27, 2/3 of the way down, total for nondefense discretionary spending in our baseline and that totals $6.4 trillion. if one were to aim to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction, not counting interest but just in the policy changes and achieve in $4 trillion out of that category, 2/3 reduction in nondefense discretionary spending relative to our baseline. if one tried to do it out of discretionary spending as a whole which amounts to $13 trillion and it would be about 30%. and i said that $4 trillion is in its alternative path would end up with a deficit that is close to zero in 2023. whether that particular time path is the one that anybody might decide to do, we don't know. we picked some simplistic linear path to deficit reduction. but the gap between spending and revenues is very large and that means that changes -- changes
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you would need to eliminate that gap will be large relative to outlays or taxes. would require large changes if
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one split the impact across spending and taxes and even if one split it across taxes and changes needed to balance the budget are very large and even the changes needed, as i discussed to bring debt down relative to g.d.p. would be significant changes. >> if you just cut $4 trillion of nondefense discretionary spending, what would the federal government look like at that point? >> well, it would look like a much smaller thing that looks like now. remember, nondefense discretionary spending includes a wide away of government activities. about 15% of that or so is education and training. another big piece is transportation.
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i think mostly of highway construction. there's a big piece that is health-related, of which a large share is funding the national institutes of health. there is a big piece of that that is veterans' health care. there is a piece that is involved in international affairs, a piece, administration of justice. an awful lot of different activities. what the government would look like is how those cuts were distributed across those various activities. one of the points we make in the report the caps on discretionary spending and the sequester on top of that would reduce both defense and nondefense discretionary spending to low levels in a share of the economy than what we have seen in the past decades but policy makers haven't confronted what programs would be eliminated or reduced to meet those totals because the funding for that spending is only provided by congress in annual appropriation acts. no decision has been made or really could be made about what will be cut later.
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>> i appreciate the clarification and i won't even go to another question because my time is about to expire. >> we appreciate the diligence of the gentleman from north carolina. we return now to the gentleman from virginia for five minutes. >> i know you have studied this issue a lot. let me just ask you, if i said to take as long as you needed and draft this comprehensive piece of legislation, we passed
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it out of here and out of the senate. some people circumvent it and some people break it. we ask you to come back and testify before us and we found the people that circumvented the law were either 10 or 10 million. should we draft a new path of citizenship for those 10 million people that circumvented the law? >> thank you for the question. this has been a concern with regard to the 1986 law. i am very pleased at the bipartisan effort so far. what has been proposed include stronger interior enforcement. >> i don't want to interrupt you, but we do everything we can despite our best efforts.
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there will be people that break yet. for those individuals, should we be expected, 10 years from now, to write a new path of citizenship for those individuals however many they might be? >> i don't think that as a question that can be answered right now. i believe if congress does an excellent job now -- >> are you saying there will not be people that circumvent the law? >> i don't disagree with you that there would be folks that circumvent it. >> should we be prepared to write a new path of citizenship? >> i believe that as a question that won't have to be answered by congress in the future if you do the job right this time.
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>> you believe if we do the job right, there will not be individuals that circumvent the law? >> it is easy to talk about comprehensive reform. the ranking member said there is so much that we agree on, but we can't just take a concept like comprehensive reform because the devil is in the details. when you talk about folks that are not here legally, most of them are hard working and good people. and there are a few of them here, 85% of one gang was here illegally. as to just that group, if we have someone here that is here illegally and someone who is a member of a violent criminal gang, should we be prepared to deport them before they commit a criminal act? >> i think there is agreement across the board that if someone has committed a violent crime --
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>> before they have committed a crime, they are here illegally and a member of a violent criminal gang. should we be able to deport them before they commit that act? or should they be able to have a path to citizenship? >> if you determine them guilty? >> they are not here legally. we can prove that they are a member of a violent criminal gang. should we be able to remove them from the country before they commit a violent criminal act? >> i would say that i believe ensuring that america is free of the folks that have committed
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violent crimes should be a priority. with regard to the hypothetical of people who may or may not commit a crime, i concede that i am not in law enforcement or a technical expert in that regard. i believe the folks that have committed a violent crime should be deported. >> this situation happened in boston and a young girl was raped and brutally beaten. violent criminal gangs and temporary protected status protected them. i hear that the senate refused to pass it. i see that my time is expired. these are the questions that we need answers for and unfortunately that is part of what we have to ferret out over the next several weeks and months.
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>> i would like to ask unanimous consent to place and the record 22 statements from various individuals including religious organizations, labor organizations, as well as an octet from the washington times today from the dean of the law school at liberty university. >> seeing as liberty is a fine institution in the sixth congressional district of virginia, we will admit all of those without objection for the record. >> can i have unanimous consent to introduce an article that appeared in the wall street journal on the declining birth rates?
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>> without objection. i would also ask unanimous consent that a joint statement by the comprehensive immigration reform coalition and the national hispanic christian leadership conference of which dean is a member, hall of these documents will be put in the record and the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> it has been interesting to listen to the questions so far. a person can be found deportable not just if you are convicted of an event, but if you have admitted to committing all the elements of a criminal offense even though you have not been convicted. >> i think that they have a unique opportunity to come together and come up with a situation where another congress 20 years from now will not be dealing with the same problem.
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a witness before the subcommittee a number of years ago, i always quote him because i don't want to steal his line. one said no trespassing and the other said help wanted. our situation, we did the reagan amnesty but we made no provision to meet the economic or familial needs of the country. like 80% or 90% of them, they are here without their papers. you can verify they are not properly here and american agriculture would collapse. what we need to do is provide a system that will actually meet our needs both in the economy whether it is high tech or agriculture and also respect the need for american families to be united.
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it is now my belief that my son and daughter are part of my nuclear family. i think that is true for americans that have sons and daughters abroad. i think it would be such a tragedy if we became sidetracked on whether or not the 11 million here that respond to the help wanted sign can never become right with the law and never have the aspiration to become an american. we're not talking about giving his citizenship to everybody. what we're saying is, over time, you might gain legal permanent residency in the united states. and if you learn everything
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there is to know about the american government, learn english so well that you can pass the test and swear to defend the constitution and be willing to fight for your country, only in that case could you become an american citizen. i think that looking back to today's newspaper article, he said that we should include appropriate penalties, background checks, evidence of moral character to get the full participation in american society including learning english. the hard-working and undocumented neighbors, it must end with citizenship and not a permanent second-class status. i hope that people will read it because it is very compelling. thanks to all the people for being here, you have been excellent witnesses. you have talked about immigration, your grandparents
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are just like mine. but one of the arguments that has not been made here but has been made in the country is that somehow, today's immigrants are different than the old immigrants or the good of immigrants from before. the german immigrants we said would not really learn english, the irish did not need to apply, italians were somehow not the same and that all seems preposterous. have you seen any evidence that today's immigrants are any less meritorious than the immigrants from the american past? less willing to learn english or become patriotic americans?
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>> this generation of immigrants, i am convinced, is just as hard working and patriotic, just as fate oriented as emigrants from generations before the helped build the great country that we live in today. i know there has been that type of characterization. in san antonio, i see folks that graduated valedictorian, national merit scholar, big dreams, wants to be productive for the country. that is the caliber of emigrant. whether it is someone like her or someone working hard in the agriculture industry, these are hard-working folks that are positively contributing to the progress of our nation.
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>> i don't want to abuse your patience. >> the committee is going to take a very brief recess. those of you that need to accommodate yourself, you have five minutes to do so. we will stand in recess until 12:20. >> the meeting will reconvene. we will continue our questioning
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by members of the committee and the chair now turns to the gentleman from iowa for five minutes. >> i thank the witnesses for the testimony. i am looking forward to your answers. yours was, i think, the most engaging. and when you talked about inspiration that comes from the inventions that we have and how it can transform not just american society but global society, i noticed a dialogue that has crept in almost all of american society that we are not separating the term immigrants. if i were a casual observer, i would not know if we were talking about legal or illegal.
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can you define that for me? >> i am talking about people that came lawfully. people that started companies and we have documented statistics. we are struggling entrepreneur shift because we won't give them visas. we keep talking about 11 million or 10 million workers. they are trapped in limbo, doctors and lawyers. >> you are talking about legal immigrants and their
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contribution as skilled workers? >> exactly. >> i remember the hearings that we have had in this room, that number is pretty good, between 7% and 11%. you say that we should take a number of legal immigrants and focused on the skilled worker side of this. i think that is the right direction to go. i turn to mayor castro and you say it is not a zero sum game that we can have skilled workers and unskilled workers and family reunification. a zero sum game always get my attention because we have one plane -- and because we have over 6 billion people on the planet. he will leave we should have a limit?
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and what is that number? >> i will say that i could set a number for you right here, rep king. i know there are only a certain number of folks that will be permitted to enter the united states, but i don't believe it is a zero sum game. i think the answer is to increase the number of high skilled immigrants and also to put the folks already here -- >> >> you would not put a limit on any of those groups? unifil the categories by demand and it is potentially the entire population of the planet. the you believe immigration policy in this country should be established to enhance the economic, social, and cultural wellbeing of the united states? >> we agree that it should
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enhance the economic and social well-being of the united states. it has been shown that immigrants do benefit the economic progress of the united states. >> i recall the gentle lady saying that the agriculture would collapse if all of a sudden we didn't have the immigrant labor to do that. the you agree with that? >> this is my comment, not the commission's. if you suddenly removed the entire work force of fruit and vegetable agriculture, it would collapse. but that is not the question. the question is, should you continue to depend on inflows of people to be the work force of that industry?
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>> would you agree there are many businesses that have been predicated upon the presumption that there would be unskilled and often illegal labour to fill those rights? and the economic structure would be dramatically different? >> i have talked to a lot of the farmers. they make decisions based on the consumption. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> let me thank all of you for your time here today. a very important process we are going through.
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if i have ever felt the greatness of america, it is today. it is now. i want to put in the record quickly that this year, 2012, border patrol agents have apprehended -- and the budget has doubled from $6.3 billion to $11.7 billion. i think that is an important note to make for this record. i absolutely believe that in spite of your interests, we can suffer a piecemeal process. it must be a comprehensive process. let me thank you for your intellect and genius. those individuals who are out technological giants, many of them were trained in america's institutions of higher learning, correct?
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>> correct. >> mark zuckerberg and bill gates went through harvard. others like google was through the institutions of higher learning in this nation. the children of those that have different skills ultimately go to stanford, harvard, princeton, and ultimately be the same kind of genius immigrants have been, or those youngsters that you speak of? if you happen to be the child of an undocumented person, you can also% to genius by going to those schools. >> i agree and my children will outdo me.
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>> they have the excellent professors such as yourself. and it is also a commitment of america to ensure that those individuals that may not necessarily the the first generation immigrants but those that look at this hearing and say, what is going to happen to me? should that be the promise of america? hong >> i agree with that as well. >> and when you educate technological day, everyone should have that? >> it is an important message that nobody can be left out. >> and the issue of timing right now is critical. we need the talent and innovation to cure the economy. >> let me make you a commitment. we put these skilled immigrants right there and we will roll forward together.
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if i might ask you a question about two issues. working with emigrant issues, let me say how in during the dream for youngsters are. i spent time in an office so a mother -- we might have a deferred circumstance. a person with a serious neurological issue. they were expelled from one of our public hospitals while her husband paid taxes of which the hospital facility was built on end her child was an undocumented individual. the pains of those kind of stories, can we put a face on those kind of stories? and including african-americans and others that have come together and worked together, showing productivity?
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>> i am very proud of san antonio over the years. many immigrants have come and build up one of the nation's leading cities today. i hear the stories, i have met with the dreamers, oftentimes you are doing great in high school. they find out they are not here, documented. america is the only country they have never called home. the are as patriotic as everyone else. they worry about their parents and themselves. despite the fact that they have great talent and a lot to offer the country. it rips families apart at this seems to be in this kind of limbo.
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we are not fully able to take advantage of the brain power of those young people. i believe is the currency of success and i agree with you that the brain power comes from many different quarters. my grandmother came through eagle pass texas as a 6-year-old orphan. two generations later, the grants of as the mayor of the city and the other is the congressman of san antonio. these are stories that we have to pay heed to when we think about the need to do this comprehensively. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. >> down here on the far right, imagine that. you are right, we have to put faces on things. and with children gathered
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around him, i think about the financial burden we are putting on our children. the first generation in american history that is actually making things worse for future generations. instead of sacrificing ourselves, we are spending money like crazy and part of it is health care. we had a obama pass -- obama care pass a couple years ago and there are massive cuts affecting their ability to get health care. one of the problems, it seems, with the overspending burden on health care is that even though people in business, the chamber wants to look the other way sometimes on people coming in illegally.
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that the rest of americans are paying for the health care of those that command if they come in illegally. somebody is paying that. as we hear farmers, apparently it is essential that they have emigrant workers, men and harvest crops. would any of you have any problem saying, you want to bring in temporary workers to harvest your crops, you need a number of health insurance policy that covers the people you are bringing in to work temporarily? i am looking for grounds for compromise where we can work
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something out. accommodate those that do not impact the system. would anyone be offended by the requirement of employers having an umbrella health insurance policy? anybody? >> i would say that i have not given that thought, but i do believe that we need to address the folks that are already here. and with regard to future work force -- >> i understand that, but that is not the direction of my question. and since my time is limited, i need to move on. you agree that our policy should be what is in the best interest of the united states. we have heard that there may be 1.5 million that want to come to the united states and that would obviously overwhelmed our system and nobody would want to come here because we would be bankrupt. we often talk about those that cross our borders illegally.
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40% of the people that are unlawfully in the country right now came and lawfully and have overstayed their visas and their means of coming in illegally. does anybody on the panel believe we should advertise to the world that if you come than temporarily on a visa, you don't have to leave? it may sound like a silly question, but it is a concern of mine that we might be advertising.
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steve king had gone over to talk with folks and they do not like the term illegal immigration in england. they told that -- told us is a regular migration. whether it is a regular migration or illegal immigration, they said they had a law that provides if you come into england, you have to swear that you will not accept any government benefits for five years. as they said, since it is all about the best interests of our country, we need to make sure people coming in and contribute before they take out. would anyone have a problem if we had such a prohibition? we welcome you in, what ever comprehensive agreement gets worked out, to have an
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agreement, you do not get benefits until you are here five years contributing to the system. anyone have a problem with that? >> we have to provide medical benefits regardless of who we bring in. that is a must for every human being. >> whoever we bring in we will give free health care. >> the insurance. >> if someone comes in paying for it they're not getting free health care. >> it should be paid for. >> i would say as you know, legal permanent residents who do not qualify for traditional welfare or health care. i believe a lot of that is absolved by the law in place. >> we do have government agencies that go out and recruit people for government benefits whether they're here legally or illegally. which is something else we need to look at. we appreciate your time. my time is expired. thank you. >> the gentleman from california. >> let me reiterate that point. there is a five-year ban on benefits for legal permanent residents. they cannot come in and get the health benefits.
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that is totally a myth that is out there. i would like to have some questions pertain to families considering immigration reform. one of the immigration priorities is comprehensive immigration reform protect the unity and city of family? by ensuring that families are reunited. there is a significant backlog. adult children of u.s. citizens in the philippines have been waiting for 20 years to be reignited. americans i believe should not have to choose between the country and building a life with their children. mayor castro is the grandson of a democrat and a public servant. how problematic is it that families are being split apart and wire family's good for our economy and nation? >> thank you for the question. this is long been the policy of the united states for good reason. families make each individual stronger.
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it is the basis of much of the strength of our economy. we hear stories every now and then of folks who have a dying relative in another country. someone they have been waiting to bring over for years. someone who is here undocumented who is definitely afraid of going across the border to go visit the dying mother or dying father. just cannot do it because they now with the risk is. we're stronger because we have had this family based system. part of what we have to do for folks who are citizens who are here legally as well is to clear that backlog. we need to invest, to clear that backlog and make sure we can strengthen this. >> thank you. i want to ask also about the families of h1b workers.
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you talked about the need for highly skilled workers. jobs are going unfilled because of a lack of qualified workers in science, technology, engineering, and mouth. -- math. you talked about how the families of skilled workers live in a second-class citizens. spouses are not allowed to work. this might not able to get -- they might not able to get driver's licenses. these workers are getting frustrated and returning home. how does this impact our ability to bring engineers and tackett scientists to the u.s.? does it serve as a deterrent not to have something in place?
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>> i hate to say this but the woman in saudi arabia have more rights than the spouses or the wives of life -- h1b workers. they are confined to the home. what sort of country is this that brings them in and does not give them equal rights? they get increasingly frustrated. the have such marital problems because there wives are productive and they're not allowed to work. it must be fixed. >> thank you for that. you had a compelling story about coming here, one of the best and brightest students and then became a leader in the biotech field working for amgen and for genentech.
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and it took you 15 years to get your permanent status. you had a wife and now you have two beautiful young children. you talk about certain solutions and -- that could continue family based immigration and make sure that immigrant families are able to work together and through their combined forces pickaxes, buy homes, and sparked job-creating businesses. i was interested in one of your solutions which is that it espouses -- that espouses are exempted from the employment based caps. could you talk more about that? >> thank you. when you become a citizen which in my case after 15 years [indiscernible] if i can be a citizen. during this period, if you get married and i had a colleague like this.
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it cannot bring your spouse into the country for five years. that is the backlog for immediate families. i want to say that i understand the importance of your family being with you. it is really important. during these long weeks, if you are on an h1, there are certain states that will restrict the ability of your spouse to do so much that becomes difficult as the family unit to continue this in a meaningful manner. i count myself as very fortunate. one month when the state department decided to allow everyone to file, i was able to get employment authorization. anyone -- does not have that privilege.
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>> you're going to have to summarize. >> i agree. it is a problem and i want to echo that it needs to be fixed. >> the chair would ask the gentleman from texas if you would yield 30 seconds to me so i might -- >> i appreciate that. it want to clarify a statement made earlier, some disagreement here. we found in writing the stem visa bill when we extended a provision that allowed people who are on waiting lists to come to the united states, we have to provide additional pay because we looked at obamacare and found that it provides benefits to anyone who is lawfully present in the united states.
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even without permanent resident status this is going to be a major issue we will have to deal with as we look at immigration reform because individuals will qualify for benefits for as many as 10 million people. i yield back to the gentleman from tx. >> thank you for being here. the issue of immigration to me covers many questions. not just one or two. there are multifaceted questions to be answered. across the board and i want to focus on a couple of those in the next few minutes.
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we had the issue of skilled warrior -- skilled workers. that is one of the issues we have. specifically because of my location in the houston area we also have the fact that the system to me is broken. it allows for abuse and i'm not talking about people who are coming here to better themselves. i am talking about the criminals who come in the united states. the drug cartels and their operation. and how they now have become so sophisticated they can cross the border into texas. they have engaged in human trafficking. houston has become one of the hubs in the united states for the disbursement of traffic people. we have the issue of 20% of the people in federal penitentiaries. there were unlawfully in the united states. border security is -- covers those particular issues.
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we have the other issues as well. i would like to concentrate on trying to secure the border. i am one of those who does not believe the border is secure. otherwise would not have all these organized crime problems that have been created in the united states. at the border in texas as you know, there is the ability for person -- different subject to come in and cross the border daily to go to school, to work. the 25 mile border visa system. and they use some type of card similar to this. where they are allowed to cross into the united states daily. do you think because of your location in san antonio that if we had a better legal entry visa whether it is a card with the biometrics, fingerprints, photographs, the different
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electronic things we can put what a person comes into the united states, slide in glide, so the speed. we know who that person is and they have permission to go to oregon for six months. if that would help the overall issue of specifically knowing who comes in lawfully or not. what do think about that? >> i certainly think there is room for that. the use of technology and the systems we have been developing have been improving. i would say that in texas included, the dedication of boots to the ground, of manpower at the border has been accelerated over the last two years under president bush and president obama like never before. we have doubled the number of enforcement agents there since 1974. operations are at a 40-year low. i would agree that it is part of a comprehensive approach that the kinds of things you're talking about should be part of
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the discussion. perhaps part of the legislation. that does not get to the issue of the folks were here already. >> i understand that is one of the questions that has to be addressed but it is not the only question that has to be addressed. there are many issues, even legal immigration. my office because of where we are, our case workers spend more time on helping people get here the right way than anything else they do. it has been pointed out that is a big problem where people have to wait for years to just come in the right way. that has to be fixed as well. one comment i would make on the apprehension, the apprehensions may be down. that does not mean that the border is more secure. it means that apprehensions are down. less people are being apprehended.
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the governor is doing more than ever before in the state to help border security as well. so anybody else want to weigh in on improving the legal basis system so that it is more secure? that is a concern as pointed out. many people come in the right way and they never go home. why would they? there in texas. why would they leave? there in san antonio. >> i agree with you there. >> anybody else want to weigh in on that? >> we may well need a biometric system. >> we may need something -- we have enough right now, there is no such thing as privacy anymore anyway. we might as well face it. the canadians do and i ask the canadian ministry, how do they manage? he said even if they come here
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they cannot work. there are -- we may have to bite the bullet over here. >> i yield back my time. >> -- it turns out to the gentleman from -- gentlewoman from -- you tell me. >> thank you. i wanted to ask a couple questions. maybe you can tell me. when we talk about a pathway to citizenship and when we talk about people who are undocumented being here and having to go at the end of the line and what it would have to
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do, pickaxes, pay fines, whenever. when that conversation comes up it is as though that would take a couple of months. and i think i do support a pathway to citizenship. i do not want to be shy about that. i wanted to know if you had some sense of how long that would take. >> thank you. i would say the question was asked about the compromise. this is earned citizenship. that one would be fined, learn english, payback taxes and go to the back of the line. for folks who are legally applying that it takes too long right now. it takes over a decade or longer. for anyone who thinks that this would be some sort of automatic application that someone would be in in a couple of months, that is not the case at all. this is a years-long process and it is also earned. that is an important point to be made.
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>> thank you. another area that i am concerned about and i would like to know how this might be impacting your city. a lot of research, an issue i work on its foster care. because of the deportations that have taken place over the last few years, 5000-6000 [indiscernible] i wanted to know if that was affecting your city. if we include a resolution for that as we do comprehensive reform.
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>> you do have examples of families that have been torn apart and certainly i hope in this legislation we can find a way in addressing immigration reform comprehensively to do with those types of situations. i remember that george bush when he was governor of texas used to say that family values do not end at the rio grande. that certainly is true still. keeping the family together has been so much a part of the progress of america. my hope is that can be addressed. >> when we talk about family values we have to consider this. one of the issues i would be concerned about is those people that have been deported, how do we reunite them with their children? i went to a residential facility
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for foster youth and there were a group of children arriving that day in miami from california. who were being sent to live in miami. not only are they completely disconnected from their parents but any and verna they might have known and what is to happen to those kids? when we're thinking about resources of our country, our government could wind up supporting this children all of their lives because we have this disconnected them from their family. it is an important issue that we factor in when we do comprehensive immigration reform. i wanted to ask you a question. you made reference to one of the previous members had asked you about the agricultural industry. and coming from california that is a major industry. you said something about how it is unskilled workers were not allowed in the country or were removed that maybe growers would make different decisions about what they would grow? i was wondering if you could give a couple of examples. i cannot think of crops that
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would not require farmworkers and how would a state like california that feeds a good percentage of the country then make decisions about -- >> i can give you a memorable example. visiting a farm or ranch that had a very large number of paper, trees that had to be hand-pick. and i was talking with the former and asking him what his situation was on labor. he said all these people are undocumented and i do not pay the much so i can afford to hand-pick. these ever caught sprayed you have to handpick the apricots. they're very fragile. what would you do if he did not have the labour force or the price went up substantially? he said we are losing money already. if the cuts coming into the port of san francisco from turkey. they're undercutting what we can sell them for. i am going to do this anyway but if it happened the way you described i would cut down these
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eight countries and are replaced walnuts. there would grow great on this land and with a walnut tree you put a tarp under the tree and bring up the mechanical shaker. you shake the tree. all the wall let's fall in the tarp and you have harvested the tree in 10 minutes. it is a lot less labor. that is typical, i think. >> i would just suggest that you would devastate the economy of california if california switched over to crops that did not require the labor of farmworkers. >> the question is how intensive is the labor needed for a given crop? >> do you have any other examples of crops that do not require farmworkers? >> there are some crops that are labor-intensive and some that are not. wheat is not labor-intensive. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the gentleman from south carolina. >> thank you. i want to make sure i am
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understand you correctly and fully. can you support a pass to legal status that does not end in citizenship? >> no. i support a pathway to citizenship. >> there is no form of legal status that you would support short of a full-fledged citizenship? >> i do not believe it is in the nation's best interest. >> the answer is no? >> zevely pathway to full citizenship is with the congress i believe a pathway to full citizenship is what the congress ought to enact. >> a compromise between what? i do not hear anyone advocating for full-fledged citizenship without background checks. without back taxes or full citizenship without fines. it is a compromise between what? >> you would agree with me that this point that you are at right now that you are talking about.
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the fact it would have to pay a fine and go back to the end of the line and they would have to learn english. that has been worked up as a compromise between senators from different parties. >> my question to you is that represents a compromise between what? i do not know anyone who is advocating against that. so you represent that as being a compromise. the compromise strikes me as a balance between two competing principles. i do not hear anyone advocating for full-fledged citizenship was no conditions at all. how is that a compromise? >> it is a compromise in my mind. senators from different parties as americans want folks to do from different parties, came together and put together a framework. i am sure they had their divergent views. i am sure there was more divergence in their views. what was put on the table including the planks you just stated represents a compromise position.
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>> what about those who are currently here who do not desire citizenship? would it be forced upon them or could they opt out? >> i believe throughout our history and has been left up to the individual. no one is talking about forcing folks. >> the polls -- there is a large percentage that want to work legally. they do not desire to be full- fledged citizens. you would not force that upon them. >> when i hear are -- what i hear are an enormous people who want to be citizens. they are patriotic. they want to be full-fledged citizens. i believe that is in the best interest of the nation. i do not believe -- >> there is not a legal status short of citizenship you could except. there is no compromise short of full-fledged citizenship that you could indorse. >> this is in your hands. >> i am asking you.
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>> i believe the compromise that has been worked out by the senators that may be worked on by house members, that represents a great compromise and americans can support that. >> what are some of the elements of the background checking would be most interested in? the word background check means different things to different people. it is -- what you mean by background check? >> i acknowledge, i am not a technical expert. i understand you are going to have a panel that will deal with enforcement. >> you are an attorney. free well trained attorney. >> better than most of the members of the judiciary i expect your grades were. what would you include in that background check? mr. forbes ask you, i thought it was a very good question.
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if you set the bar at felony convictions that is a pretty high standard. for those who are under investigation by the bureau or someone else and you could meet the level of probable cause, would you be able to exclude them from this path? >> i think what has been discussed goes beyond folks who have been convicted of a felony. there may be some instances but that is case-specific. that needs to be adjudicated. somewhere between assuming that someone has committed a crime and recognizing there are circumstances where someone does present a danger to the united states and should not be in the country. i do think there's leeway there. i would grant you that. there -- these are the kinds of things i do not disagree with the general point. this is not easy. this is detailed. it is important work. i believe at the end of the day, the compromise, the general principles of the compromise
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worked out in the senate are the ones that are the best option for the united states. >> my last question to you is this. this is not our country's first foray into an amnesty. it talked about citizenship and all the benefits that confers on folks. one of the benefits it confers is you have the protection of the law. how would you explain to folks who do place a high value on respectful rule of law. while -- why we're doing this again it has not worked in the past. >> you would -- you and i would agree that we're a nation of laws. we draw our strength from the fact that we are a nation of laws. at the same time we're a nation of immigrants. we have progressed as a nation because we're pragmatic. we understand these 11 billion folks -- this has to be addressed. it is in our national security
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interest, our economic interests. i do think we can find a way to punish these folks for not coming in here legally. and address the pragmatic issue that is in front of us. >> i thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana for 5 minutes. >> thank you. earlier, the question was posed to each of you when you are given the ability to just say yes or no and i thought it was unfair but the question was, should america do what is in america's best interest when you talk about immigration and i guess the question -- the part that was left out, do you consider a cost-benefit analysis on each person as the only factor in what is in america's best interest?
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if they are going to come and be successful business owners and create jobs, is that the only factor we should look at when determining what is in america's best interest? we can start with you. >> there needs to be a balance. if we just bring people in and there are no jobs will come -- create a complete mess. they lose and we move -- we lose. we bring in a crop of skilled immigrants that can help this country become competitive. so we can bring the other people in. >> that should not be the only factor. >> this is something -- >> should it be the only factor? be. can i say more than know? -- than no? if you focus on the employment if you focus on the employment base, that is a small category.

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